Rule of Law

The concept of the Rule of Law is fundamental to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, SDG 16 aspires to "promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels." The Rule of Law is a foundation for all these aims.

The Rule of Law represents a principle of governance that all persons, institutions, entities, public and private, including the state itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated. In the context of SDGs, the Rule of Law ensures equitable access to justice (SDG 16.3), strengthens corruption-free institutions (SDG 16.5), and nurtures peaceful societies (SDG 16.1).

Equal access to justice under the Rule of Law is central to reducing inequalities (SDG 10) and ensuring no one is left behind. It safeguards individuals' rights, including those of vulnerable groups like women, children, and marginalized communities, facilitating their access to basic services and protection, thereby helping achieve goals related to poverty eradication (SDG 1), good health and well-being (SDG 3), quality education (SDG 4), and gender equality (SDG 5).

The Rule of Law is also intrinsic to building effective, accountable institutions (SDG 16.6). These institutions play a pivotal role in providing public services, managing public resources, and upholding civil rights. When corruption, bribery, theft, and tax evasion are substantially reduced (SDG 16.5), resources can be appropriately allocated to support sustainable development initiatives.

Moreover, peaceful societies, a primary aim of SDG 16, are facilitated by the Rule of Law. A society where laws are respected and fairly applied fosters an environment of security and stability. It deters violent conflict, promotes human rights, and encourages social and economic development.

Hong Kong's securities regulator reported a spike in the number of instances where the city's financial firms are failing to comply with its anti-money laundering guidelines. It has long been known that money laundering can have significant negative impact on economic growth. Enforcement of regulations to eradicate money laundering contributes to advancing SDG 16.4 by 2030 to significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime.
Rule of law course presenters
For the rule of law to be effective, there must be equality under the law, transparency of law, an independent judiciary and access to legal remedy. Yet about 57% of the world's population lives outside the shelter of the law. This presentation and training video demonstrates how advancement of the rule of law benefits economic prosperity and advancement of society and what role businesses and lawyers can play to advance SDG 16.3 to promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all.
The 2016 report by the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) into trade-based money laundering ups the momentum to improve anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing. Such actions will contribute to the advancement of SDG 16.4 to significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime.
Elsevier,

Agricultural Law and Economics in Sub-Saharan Africa: Cases and Comments, Chapter 5, 2016, Pages 141–184

This chapter examines contracting between literate and illiterate parties in sub-Saharan Africa in a market-led development approach. It supports goal 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and goal 10 (reduced inequalities).
This article discusses what actions Women’s Empowerment Principles' companies are taking to advance Goal 5.
This webinar explores how taxation is steadily rising on the corporate sustainability agenda and links to Goal 10 and Goal 17.
Linking Goal 10 and Goal 16, this report highlights the linkages between human rights and anti-corruption compliance and how companies can benefit from integrating these considerations in their compliance programs.
A responsible supply chain, and eliminating corruption in the supply chain, are important elements of goals 10 and 16. This report, updated in 2016, outlines common supply chain corruption scenarios and provides a framework and set of tools for addressing them.
Contributing to SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), this paper provides an introduction to the challenges of effective security intervention impact assessment.
LexisNexis Legal & Professional,

the International Bar Association with support from LexisNexis Legal & Professional, June 2015

EyeWitness logo
LexisNexis Legal & Professional partnered with the International Bar Association to launch eyeWitness to Atrocities, an Android mobile phone app that allows users to report human rights atrocities. The free app enables citizens to contribute to bringing perpetrators to account for crimes against humanity and therefore contributes directly towards the advancement of SDG target 16.3 to promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all.

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